WHAT WOULD JESUS DRINK?

Today is Christmas. Or as it’s known in the McHops Monastery, “the day every goddamn liquor store in America is closed”. While the McHops clan has no tree, lights, stockings, or jollyness of our own (we’re nihilists…it’s exhausting), we fully recognize that today is somewhat of a popular holiday amongst other members of our species. A little on-line research reveals that today is considered by many people to be the birthday of a 2,000-year-old, trouble-making Jewish stonemason. Of course, a little MORE on-line research reveals that today’s date was probably pilfered by early Christians from the supposed birth date of Mithra, a Persian deity. And Mithra’s birthday was most likely lifted from an even earlier object of worship. Regardless, today’s the day that every goddamn liquor story in America is closed, so clearly this Jesus guy was a man of some import. As such, I’m tossing out a Conundrum to my fellow Aleheads:

If he were alive today, What Would Jesus Drink?*

*Please ignore all of the Second Coming/Rapture/Revelations implications of the question.

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PIELS

Assuming that the son of god is as susceptible to celebrity endorsements as the rest of us, he’d drink Asahi.

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KID CARBOY, JR.

I personally fear that AB-InBev’s marketing campaign would succeed where the temptations of Satan in the desert failed, and we would end up with THIS.

Why do I get the feeling this billboard is somewhere in Alabama?

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SLOUCH SIXPACK

If the Son of God was to be transported to our present day and found himself in search of some craft brew to quench a holy thirst, no doubt the whole experience would be rather jarring- no money, no shirt, no shoes, and fluency in Aramaic make it difficult to choose the appropriate beer given the plethora of quality options we have available today. I’d let him wander around lost for a bit, freaking out the store clerk, before gently guiding him to the shelf with a bottle of Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi. For one thing, it has that funky farmhouse aroma that would transport him back to his days spent lying in a manger. Also, the label is serene and pastoral (if you’re from the desert) and features those three weird uncles who gave him the impractical (for a newborn) gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh on the date of his birth. Note to the Three Kings: next time let’s just stick to malted barley, west coast hops, and some yeast smack packs, OK?

Jesus would take a sip of the lightly spiced holiday brew from a modest clay chalice, and remark that it finishes drier than he expected and tastes a little like horse blanket, which he had actually eaten during the leaner years. Then his eyes would get misty, and he’d ask why I’d forsaken him for so long alone in front of the shiny Four Loko display and the poster of the Miller Lite girls mud wrestling? And then I would take his hand, and point back up the liquor store aisles, revealing just one set of footprints- and he would realize I’d been carrying him the entire time…

Happy holidays, Aleheads.

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JIMMY HOPPA

Given the way the story ends, I imagine that Jesus would want to stay away from anything oaked, but that doesn’t mean that the Son of God, or Big J.C as he preferred to be called when draining growlers with his disciples, couldn’t enjoy a big hearty beer.  Now Big J.C strikes me as an old school sort of guy.  Long hair, beard, doesn’t need much to have a good time (just a few loaves and fishes and he’ll take care of the rest) and not too concerned with the material world.  Sure, he palled around with the lepers and prostitutes in his day, but who among us is perfect?  Regardless, when I think of old school big hearty beers, I think Belgian, as these guys practically invented the dark strong ale that hits you like the wrath of God himself and smites your better judgement and ability to reason once that first 750 has been drained.  Plus, the Belgian brewing tradition was started by monks, who know a thing or two about piety, so dad approves.  Big JC would definitely want to support the family business, so Trappist is a must, and being the son of God should get you access to the hard to get stuff, as I’m sure it has its perks.  That is why Big JC would drink Westvleteren 12 this holiday season.

Let’s face it, if you had an overbearing father with unattainable expectations for you, friends that let you down, and you knew that you’d inevitably wind up nailed to a tree for some assholes that you’ve never even met, you too would want to down the real good stuff like it was going out of style.

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BEERFORD MCBREWIN’

Having only read the Bible once cover-to-cover, that reading being a few years in the past at this point, I am forced to choose a natal anniversary libation for ΙΧΘΥΣ based on my more recent reading of one of the lesser known gospels.  This particular tale is in fact often left out of even the apocrypha section of most printings of the Bible, though it is unique in describing Mr. the Savior’s travels between his visit to the temple as a young man and his reappearance as an adult later in the more broadly accepted gospels.  The book to which I refer is of course The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.  As many of the wanderings chronicled in this gospel occur in the far East (including India), and as the name is singularly appropriate, and given that though it may not live up to today’s high standard of excellence regarding craft beer it is still almost certainly better than the swill fermented in an open horse trough that Jesus was accustomed to back around the time when the calendar switched from negative to positive numbers, I think he would be delighted to enjoy a Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer.  After all, he was both a fisherman (of men’s souls) and a king (of the Jews).  How much more apropos could you get?

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LORD MASHTUN COPPERPOT

JC was a carpenter*, not a king. Haven’t you guys seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Don’t make the same mistake Donovan and Elsa made…

Surly Brewing recently retired a beer called “Jesus Juice.” Apparently, Jesus Juice was a braggot, which is a millenium-old beverage brewed with honey, hops, malt, and spices. Though I doubt this is the kind of thing JC would session all day long, it sounds pretty appropriate to me for a Christmas afternoon by the fire.

I have chosen…wisely.

*Barley’s Note: Most biblical historians believe Yeshua Ben Yosef was actually a stonemason, not a carpenter. The word used in the oldest texts actually translates as the more generic “builder”, but it was generally used at the time to denote one who worked with stone. Of course, the Aleheads translation of the Bible has him listed as a “Cellarman”.

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COMMANDER PINT O. CHUG

I was president of our college’s Jewish student organization (for a whopping 10 weeks, but nobody remembers that part), and thus earned the moniker “King of the Jews” from some of my Alehead friends.  OK, so I probably came up with that myself, though in homage to the Stranger, I’ll note that no-one [in Roman times] would have self-applied that name.

The bottom line is, I think as King of the Jews, I’m uniquely qualified to opine on what the other King of the Jews would have drunk if he were alive today.  But I’m going to dig deeper than these superficial references to “King of Beers, King of Jews,” Kingfisher, beer brewed by monks, and beer with a manger scene on the label (though I otherwise doff my cap to Slouch’s response).

Those nail holes in Jesus’s hands are probably still smarting.  In today’s world where a guy who throws a baseball 100 times in a night has to wrap his shoulder in 40 pounds of ice, I think the doctor would tell Jesus to put some goddamn cold packs on those fuckers.  And what’s colder than cold?  Super cold.  I think Jesus would drink Coors Light.  Merry Christmas, you assholes.*

*I was tempted to make some reference to the co-incidence of Coors Light and Jesus paraphernalia at NASCAR races, but decided that would just make me sound like an elitist prick.  Oh wait, I write for a craft beer blog.

Can't...reach...my...mouth.

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HERR HUMULUS HORDEUM

Jesus was (is?… how does tense apply to this everlasting life shit?) a Jew.

Who makes good Jew-brew?

He’brew.

What is their best beer?

Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA

Who pioneered criticizing religion in comedy?

Lenny Bruce.

I bet Jesus and Lenny Bruce are pals. Jesus was a listener, and Lenny Bruce had a lot of intelligent criticism about organized religion; Jesus would respect that. For example:

“Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.”

“If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.”

“A Jew, in the dictionary, is one who is descended from the ancient tribes of Judea, or one who is regarded as a descendant from that tribe. That’s what it says in the dictionary, but you and I know what a Jew is: One Who Killed Our Lord… there should be a statute of limitations for that crime.”

“A lot of people say to me, ‘Why did you kill Christ?’ I dunno, it was one of those parties, got out of hand, you know.”

Well, never-mind, perhaps Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA would be a better beer for Easter.

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SMILEY BROWN

First, you are all terrible, terrible people.  Second, even worse, it’s like you aren’t even trying here.  This is Jesus we’re talking about.  He’s a known winebibber (Luke 7:34), and He could have anything He wanted.  So, on a normal day, He’d probably go with some Ballantine Burton Ale (and He’d probably pull a Lazarus with Alan Eames, because really, you couldn’t ask for a better drinking buddy.  Heck, even dead, he’s better than most of you guys.)

But you’re all forgetting, for this guy, it’s not just Christmas – it’s also His birthday.  A time for taking stock and getting deep with some real introspection.  And when He sees the mess that we all have made with His home away from home, He won’t be happy.*

*Cue Brother Barley: “Threatening me with eternal damnation won’t get you in any faster.”

And, as He’s wont to do when faced with the enormity of mankind’s inability to see the world as He does (my preferred interpretation of John 11:35), Jesus will weep.  And His tears will taste equal parts sweet and bitter, that delicate balance elevating piney citrus notes that roll off your tongue like velvet.  Yes, Jesus cries Pliny the Younger.  And He will share it with us.  Because He loves us anyway.  (And for Himself? He’ll just have whatever’s laying around in the back of the fridge.  He’s cool like that.)  Merry Christmas, sinners.

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BROTHER BARLEY MCHOPS

Well Jesus, the Aleheads have recommended quite a selection for you on your birthday. From Trappist Quads to Japanese Rice Lagers, you’ve got whatever you need to quench a “forty days in the desert” thirst. As for me, I’m choosing the Weyerbacher Heresy. It seems only fitting for a man who was deemed a dangerous heretic in his day. But more importantly, its name pretty much sums up this entire post.

Why is my hair standing on end?

Whatever you celebrate and however you celebrate it, be well, be safe, and happy holidays from all the Aleheads.

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3 comments

  1. Nice job, fellas! And a Happy Holidays to you all!

  2. This was fantastic, especially Slouch’s.

  3. Thanks for the kind words, Mike and Mike. Cheers!

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